Last modified on August 15th, 2018

Hahnemann’s proving symptoms of homeopathy remedy Magnes from Materia Medica Pura, which Samuel Hahnemann wrote between 1811 to 1821


(From vol. ii, 3rd edit., 1833.)

To the ordinary mechanical, materialistic, and atomisitic heads – and there is a vast number of such – it seemed not only paradoxical, but childish and incredible, that, according to the homoeopathic, medical doctrine, the administration of doses of only very minute fractions of a grain of the more powerful medicines could be of use.

I grant that it may certainly be more convenient to regard all diseases as accumulations of gross impurities, and active drugs as rough levers and brooms, or as chemical reagents, consequently as palpable alterations of the being of living creatures (diseases) as pure dynamical powers, as they are in reality, and to set about curing according to these views.

If we do not adopt these true views, but adhere to those ordinary material ones, the curative powers of medicines must be estimated according to their bulk and the weight of their dose; and hence the scales must determine the efficacy of the dose. But in that case we first ascertain the weight of the disease, in order to be able to reckon whether a disease weighing so many pounds (it has, indeed, been hitherto not unusual to employ the phrase “Grave illness”) could be prized out, as with a lever, by such and such a weight of medicine. (The theraputic aims, according to the ideas of REIL, ACKERMANN; REICH, and others (they call them systems), appear to be more refined but they are not less mechanical and atomistic. For how heavy must not these substances be, which, employed as medicines, have to put to rights the altered form of the simple parts in a diseased body weighing a hundred and fifty pounds? What quantity of oxygen, hydrogen, or nitrogen will be required in order to supply in mass and weight one of these substances presumably deficient in a collection of morbid humours weighing forty or fifty pounds? Or can medical chemistry at otherwise in the diseased body than with masses, by the addition or subtraction of material substances according to measurement and weight? )

I willingly abandon to those collegues of mine such atomistic views, by which the business of treatment can be carried on very comfortably, even when half asleep; for as we all know; to us poor mortals nothing is more easy of comprehension than the material, ponderable. Palpable, and sensible, because much thinking (and observing), as an Israelitish teacher says, is a weariness to the body. I cannot suppose them capable of regarding diseases as immaterial alterations of the vitality, as pure dynamic derangements of our state of health, and medicine powers as merely virtual, almost spiritual, forces. It is impossible to disabuse them of the idea that for such a weight is required, seeing that they could point to the traditional practice of thousands of years, when palpable quantities of medicine must always be poured into the patient from large bottles, pots, and boxes, in order that any effect should be produced in serious diseases , and yet even this did not usually succeed. I can readily believe this: the effect of the ordinary treatment of all times fully corroborates it! But how can they reconcile it with the atomistic, materialistic notions they entertain respecting the action of medicines and their curative powers, that a single imponderable spark from a Leyden jar gives a shock to the strongest man, and yet no ascertainable ponderable substance is communicated to his body? How can they reconcile with their atomistic, materialistic notions, the enormous power of mesmerism, when a powerful man with strong will to do good approaches the point of his thumb to the pit of the stomach of a nervous patient? How can they, finally, reconcile with their atomistic, materialistic notions respecting the actions of medicines the fact that a carefully-constructed magnetic steel rod effect such a powerful derangement of our health, even when it is not in actual contact with the body, but may even be covered with some thick material (such as cloth, bladder, glass. &c.), so that we suffer therefrom violent morbid affections; or, what is equally remarkable, that a magnetic rod can quickly and permanently cure the most severe disease for which it is the suitable medicine, when it is brought near the body, for but a short time, even though covered as above described? Atomist! You narrow-minded wiseacre! Tell me what ponderable quantity of the magnet entered the body in order to effect these often enormous changes in its state of health? Is not the centillionth of a grain (a fraction of a grain that has 600 ciphers for its denominator) still infinitely too heavy to represent this absolutely imponderable quantity, the kind of spirit that emanated from the magnetic rod into this living body? Will you now continue to express your amazement at the homoeopathic doses of powerful medicines of the sextillionth, the octillionth, the decillionth of a grain, which are gross weights compared with this invisible magnetic power?

The subjoined symptoms occurred from various powerful magnets brought in contact with various sensitive individuals, without distinction of the poles. They were observed in experiments conducted for half a year for the purpose of ascertaining the proper and most efficacious mode of stroking the steel with magnets, in which a horseshoe magnet capable of lifting twelve pounds was held in the hands, which were in contact with both poles for an hour at a time.

The additional symptoms from general contact, taken from the works of ANDRY and THOURET of UNZER, and of DE HARSU, also resulted from the application of the whole surface of various magnetic plates to the skin, consequently of both poles at once.

The symptoms observed from the two poles that follow occurred from the contact of powerful magnetic rod with healthy persons, for eight to twelve minutes at a time, seldom repeated several times.

Although each of the poles, as will be seen from the symptoms recorded, presents something peculiar in its power of altering the human health, yet each of them seems, when applied twice or oftener, to produce alternating actions which resemble those of the opposite pole.

In order to effect a cure the magnet must be applied in a much milder manner to enable it to act homoepathically, For this purpose a magnetic rod, eighteen inches long, which can lift a quarter of a pound at either pole, is more than sufficiently powerful, (Indeed, a rod eight inches long, weighing half an ounce, which (at the north pole) can lift four ounces of iron (which I magnetised to this extent, and surrounded with soft, thin, silk-covered wire, by which its magnetic power is retained undiminished for ever, in whatever direction it may lie), has latterly furnished me with all the curative power to be expected from the magnet, by its application for a minute or even only half a minute.) if the pole selected, according to similarity of the symptoms to the case of disease, be brought in contact, or almost in contact for one minute only, with the affected part or even with the tip of the finger. I have even met with cases for which the contact of such a magnetic staff for only half a minute was an empty sufficient dose.

But if the first application of the pole does not remove the whole disease, we must not allow the application of the same pole to be repeated, a second time, just as in other homoeopathic treatment it is not proper to give a second dose of the same medicine must be administered corresponding to the remaining morbid condition, or if the wrong pole have been first selected the opposite pole should be applied.

It is the same with magnets as with other medicinal agents; their enantiopathic or palliative employment must be avoided where there is a homoeopathic remedy that cures radically by similarity of symptoms. Therefore, where we find only under the general magnet symptoms a homoeopathic resemblance to the case of disease we wish to cure and where we do not know which of the two poles is more especially indicated, we apply that one which offers the greatest number of similar symptoms. But if after applying the pole we observe an almost instantandisappearance of the ailments we wish to cure (or even the occurrence of other symptoms not previously present) for half an hour, or only a quarter of an hour, then we may be sure that the pole we applied was not the curative (homoeopathic), but the palliative (enantiopathic) one. We shall soon be convinced of this by the speedy recurrence and increasing aggravation of the malady. But the practitioner who wishes to cure and not to be experiment, will not wait for this aggravation, but when the sudden palliative relief has lasted but a quarter of an hour (and especially if new symptoms have appeared) he will apply the opposite pole, but not for a longer time than he applied the palliative pole. This will first of all remove the new symptoms, then cause a slight homoeopathic aggravation of the original malady, and finally effect the complete permanent cure by homoeopathy, as occurs with all other medicines selected according to similarity of symptoms (homoeopathically).

A mild disposition, or a tendency to chilliness in the subject of treatment, directs the practitioner first to the north pole when he can only find the symptoms similar to those of the case in hand under the general magnet symptoms.

The duration of action of a moderate dose of magnetic power is upwards of ten days.

When the magnet has been improperly selected, the resulting sufferings, which are sometimes very severe, will be at least alleviated by the occasional administration of small electrical double sparks. But they will be more generally and permanently removed by laying the outspread hand on a pretty large zinc plate for half an hour.

If the practitioner has to send the magnet as a remedy to a patient at a distance, he can, if he will, easily prepare one himself, by attending to the following directions, which I have, after multiplied trials, found to be the best.

We require for our purpose a rod of good German or English steel, about eight inches in length and two or two and a half lines in breadth and one line thick, which should be hardened spring-hard (not glass-hard), and a strong horse-shoe magnet that can lift from ten to twelve pounds.

Now, in order to impart to the steel rod easily and rapidly the strongest magnetic power it is capable of obtaining in this way, the plan of stoking without regularity and right away over the rod, so that the pole of the magnet used for stroking, is as it were torn away at the end of the rod, is improper, for the magnetic power communicated to the rod during the stroke is to a great extent taken away again thereby, and cannot be replaced by frequent repetition of the stroking.

Hence the stroking pole of the magnet must, each time it is brought almost to the end of the rod, be made to slide over a sharpened soft tin plate that covers the extreme end of the rod, whereby an imperceptible harmless transference is affected from the rod to the plate, and the magnet can then be removed without injury from the rod we wish to magnetize, whose end lies beneath the tin plate.

But the tin plate, where it covers the end of the rod, must be bent and run underneath the rod, and come up over the opposite end of the rod, covering it in a similar manner, so that by means of this strip of tin plate a connection of the magnetic stream is maintained between both poles of the rod.

For this purpose, we take a strip of thin, soft tin plate, some lines longer than the rod to be magnetized; the rod is laid upon it, then the ends of the strip of tin plate must be bent in the form of a hook over the ends of the rod, so that the poles of the rod are covered by these hooked extremities to a very small extent, but they must lie in close contact with the poles of the rod, and their extremities being sharpened they will lie on the ends of the poles of the rod quite thin, so that, in stroking, the magnet passes without an obstacle just before the end of the rod on to the extremities of the tin plate, slides over the latter and thus can be drawn from the end of the tin plate without injury.

Each of the ends of the tin plate, bent into the form of a book, should be marked, one with N (north), the other with S (south), and the N end should lie horizantally pointing to the north, and continue to lie, or something similar. The two halves made thereby are each marked with two strokes, one of which is placed on the second third of the remaining portion, as shown by the points indicated below.

Then the south pole of the horse-shoe, magnet is placed perpendicularly on the middle of the rod (at a) and stroked all over its north half and on to the bent-over end of the tin plate (N) and drawn away from this. It is now made to describe a great circle in the air and brought back and placed on the second point of the rod (at b), and another stroke is made from this point to over the (N) end of the tin plate. The horse-shoe magnet is again lifted, made to describe a circle, and its south pole placed on the third and last point (at c) and drawn along this short space to over the covering end of he plate and then taken away.

The rod is now taken out of its tin plate clamp, which is to be left lying undisturbed, and the stroked end of the rod is marked with N; it has become the north pole. The rod is now to be turned round and inserted into the tin plate clamp so that the already magnetised north end of the rod shall lie under the extremity of the tin plate clamp marked with S, whilst the unmagnetized end of the rod lies under the N end of the clamp.

The stroking of the south pole of the rod is to be also made towards the north (though it is the south pole that is to be stroked) over the N end of the tin plate clamp; for this remains always with its N-end directed towards the north of the compass (it is only the rod that has been turned round).

We take the north pole of the horse-shoe magnet, set it in the middle of the rod (a) and again stroke towards the north upon the rod and over the N end of the clamp, we then set it on the south side of the rod (at b), stroke it over the N end of the clamp. In this way the south pole of the rod is made, and marked with S (south pole).

The rod is now removed from the tin plate clamp, and now it is as fully magnetized as it is possible to make it with the horse-shoe magnet, by means of these six strokes (three on each half of the rod).

We take a piece of fir wood of the length of the rod and cut a groove in it, in which the magnetised rod is accurately fitted and sent in this way to the patient, the north pole of the rod being indicated on the wooden receptacle by the letter N.

For medical purposes the patient touches the indicated pole of the magnetized rod (which is not removed from its wooden case) for half a minute, one minute, or a minute and a half, according as the nature of his disease or the strength of the patient requires.

[HAHNEMANN was assisted is his proving of the north pole of the magnet by FRANZ, GUNTHER, HARNISH, HARTMANN, HEMPEL, LANGHAMMER, MICHLER; in that of the south pole by FRANZ, HARNISCH, KUMMER, STAPF.

For symptoms of the magnet generally the following authorities are quoted:

ANDRY et THOURET, Beobacht, uber den Gebrauch des Magnets. Leipzing, 1785.

DE HARSU, Recueil des effets salutaire de l’animat. Geneva, 1782.

RECHEL, J. DAN., Diss de magnetismo in corpor humano, Leipzig, 1712.

UNZER, JOH, CHRISTOPH., Beschreibung eines mit Magneten gemachten medizinischen Versuchs. Hamburg, 1775.

For north and south pole symptoms the following:

DE HARSU (as above).

HEINICKE, Ideen und Beobachtungen uber den thierischen Magnetismus. BREMEN, 1800.

WEBER, CHTPH., Wirkungen des kunstlichen Magnets. Hannover, 1767.

None of these authorities are accessible.

Some of the complex symptoms under Magnet is p. arcticus, though said to be observed by different provers, are curiously alike, such as 384 and 392, 445 and 446, 447 and 448. The numbering of the symptoms has been very carelessly done, owing doubtless to the neglect of the transcriber.

In the 1st edit,. Magnes has 294 symptoms, M. p. arcticus 250, and M. p. australis 285. In the 2nd edit. Magnes has 393 symptoms of Magnes have only been iby five, to those of M. p. arcticus six have been added, and those of M. p. australis remain the same.]


(General effects of the magnet when to ched on all parts, the hands being brought in contract with both poles, or the magnet lying all its length on the skin.)

In the evening after lying down in bed a vertigo as if he would fall (soon passing off).

In the evening after lying down a kind of vertigo, like a sudden jerk passing through the head.

When walking he loses his equilibrium from time to time and staggers, without being aware of any vertigo.

The objects of vision seem to hover in an undecided place and to sway; hence he also sways when making a step and walking.

5. When he tries to remember anything, and exerts his memory, he gets headache.

Vertigo. [ANDRY et THOURET, Beobacht, uber den Gebrauch des Magnets, Leipzig. 1785, p. 232.]

Rushing noise in the whole head (from magnets lying flat on the thighs and legs, also on the chest). [JOH. CHRISTOPH. UNZER, Beshcreibnug eines mit kunstlichen Magneten gemachten medizinischen versuchs, Hamburg, 1775, p. 40.]

Dazed of the head, as from opium. [UNZER, l. c., p. 14.]

Head dazed, and sensation in it as if some one tired to draw it away from the body. [UNZER, l. c., p. 23.]

10. Sensation in the head, as if the head and the whole body would be pressed down. [UNZER, l. c., p. 64.]

Headache. [ANDRY et THOURET, l. c., p. 232.]

Shock in the head and right shoulder with shivering. [UNZER, l. c., p. 12.]

Transient headache, a single jerk, compounded of twitching and tearing.

In the middle of one half of the brain a sharp pain, such as is felt in the first instant of a blow on it.

15. Headache in the morning, immediately after opening the eyes, as if bruised, which goes off after rising from bed.

In the morning, at the instant of waking, a furious, digging, stupefying headache, as in typhoid fever, which goes off immediately when flatulent movements take place in the abdomen.

(Headache such as occurs from a chill.)

From a slight vexation a headache, as from a sharp impression on a small point of the brain. (Ignatia removed this immediately, comformably with its homoeopathic symptoms 35, 284. [These figures seen to be wrong, probably Ss. 59 and 297 are meant.])

In the region of the crown on a small spot of the brain pain as from the impress of a blunt nail; the spot is also painful externally to the touch (aft. ½ h.).

20. In the morning after rising from bed, headache, almost as if the brain were raised up from its base, which goes off after yawning.

Pimples on the hairy-scalp (with phthiriasis). [ANDRY et THROURHT, l. c., p. 219.]

Along with cold hands, heat of face, and smarting sensation in the skin of the face.

Intolerable burning pricks (Without any admixture of itching.) in the muscles of the face, in the evening.

In the eye burning, tearing, and sparkling. [UNZER, l. c., p. 20.]

25. Burning drawing and continual sparks in the affected eye. [UNZER, l. c., p. 18.]

Fiery sparks before the eyes, like falling stars. [J. DAN. REICHEL, Diss. de magnetismo in corpore humano, Lips., 1712.]

Painful stitches through the right eye, which lost themselves in the jaw, and then a tug through this eye down the neck, through the chest, abdomen, and hips, to the right leg. [UNZER, l. c., p. 101.]

Sensation in the eye as from the pendulum of a clock. [REICHEL, l. c.]

On moving the body, particularly the arms, profuse sweat on the head and face.

30. Sweat n the face without heat, in the morning.

Dilated pupils.

Along with activity of the mind and body, dilated pupils (aft. 24 h.).

During the unconscious convulsive attacks the pupils were not dilated. [UNZER, l. c., p. 140.]

Beyond the visual point and the line of sight, white light-spots quiver with great rapidity round about at the side as in reflexion, (Almost the affection called by MARCUS HERZ “false vertigo,” ) in the dusk of the evening.

35. In the evening after lying down, a smarting in the eyes, as from acrid tears.

Itching of the eyelids towards the outer towards the outer canthus.

Itching of the eyelids and eyeballs in the inner canthus.

Dryness of the eyelids and of the inside of the mouth, in the morning after waking.

Inflammation of the eyelids and of the inside of the mouth, in the morning after waking.

Inflammation of the eyelid. [UNZER, l. c., p. 70.]

40. Feeling of dryness of the eyelids (aft. 4 h.).

The lower eyelid quivers (aft. 1 h.).

A quantity of mucus escapes from the eyes, nose, and ears. [REICHEL, l. c.]

The external ear feels to him hot, and yet it is not so.

Itching in the auditory organ.

45. In the morning in bed, itching burning in the meatus auditorious.

A pimple on the antitragus of the ear, which itches; this itching does not go off by scratching, which causes pain in addition.

A fine whistling in the ear, but intermittent, like the beat of the pulse.

Loud, strong rushing noise in one ear, and at the same time some headache on the same side, as if a foreign body were in the brain there, at the same time the pupil on that side us much dilated (after touching the middle of the magnet).

Heat of the ear to which the magnet was applied. [ANDRY et THROURET, l. c., p. 234.]

50. Rushing noise before the ears. [UNZER, l. c., 6. 23.]

In the ear, noise like boiling water. [REICHEL, l. c.]

In the ear, electric shocks. [REICHEL, l. c.]

Deafness without noise in the ear.

Pain in the cheek and ear. [ANDRY et THROURET, l. c., p. 252.]

55. On a small spot under the ala nasi, burning pain (aft. 1 h.).

Illusion of smell: smell before the nose, like dung (aft. ½ h.)

Illusion of smell: from time to time he imagines he perceives a smell before the nose like what comes from a clothes chest that has long been shut up.

Near the red border of the upper lip, not far from the commissure, a white pimple, or a red inflamed lump, which pains as if sore per se, but most when moving and touching the part.

On the inside of the lower lip, a small ulcer, painful when touched.

60. Painful sensitiveness round about the border of the lips.

Metallic taste on one side of the tongue.

Burning of the tongue and pain of it when eating.[UNZER, l. c., p. 112.]

In the periosteum of the upper jaw, a jerking tearing pain, like jerks compounded of tearing, boring shooting and burning, extending to the orbit.

In the facial bones, especially the antrum of the upper jaw, a twitching tearing pain in the evening.

65. Blows on the jaws. [UNZER, l. c., p. 26.]

Trembling of the chin and neck. [UNZER, l. c., p. 25.]

Dislocation pain in the maxillary joint.

Pain of the front teeth on drinking some cold liquid; the cold penetrates into the teeth when drinking cold liquid.

The tooth is painful from air entering the mouth; the air penetrates painful into the tooth.

70. Drawing pain in the jaws to the temple, with a sensation as of cramp in the masseter muscles.

Looseness of the teeth.

A blow with burning in the teeth. [UNZER, l. c., p. 33.]

The tooth is painful when chewing.

Toothache excited by stooping (aft. 24 h.).

75. Toothache: a tapping or twitching aching only in single jerks.

A violent throbbing in the teeth, even without any exciting cause.

The gum of a hollow tooth is swollen and painful when touched.

Toothache only in the hollow carious teeth.

In the roots of the lower incisors a monotonous pain as if bruised, sore, or as if it were corroded by something.

80. Pain in the palate as after swallowing a large mouthful.

In the morning, in the open air, the submaxillary gland is painful as if it were swollen (aft. 12 h.).

Tensive pain in the anterior submaxillary gland.

In the submaxillary glands single obtuse stitches, in the evening.

A hard pressure in the lower part of the thyroid cartilage of the throat.

85. Pimples under the chin on the neck with itching per se, which is increased by touching, and with a simple sore pain.

Swelling of the neck, redness of the face and stronger palpitation of the heart. (In a person subject to palpitation of the heart, when the magnet is brought near him.) [ANDRY et THROURET, l. c., p. 235.]

Copious accumulation of saliva in tmouth, almost like ptyalism, with pains in the submaxillary glands.

Copious accumulation of saliva in the mouth,. [REICHEL, l. c.]

Every evening, flow of saliva, with swollen lips.

90. Along with clean tongue, especially in the morning, foetid smell from the mouth, which he did not himself perceive,

In the morning, foetid smell from the mouth with much mucus in the throat.

Persistent foeter of the mouth, which he does not himself perceive, as in active mercurial salivation.

Hunger (immediately).

Hunger, especially in the evening.

95. He has appetite but the food is without taste.

He has hunger and appetite, but no taste of the food; mucus in the mouth seems to deprive him of taste (immediately).

He has longing for tobacco, milk, beer, and they are relished; bur scarcely has he begun to partake of them when he is all at once satiated, and can only take very little of them (aft. 16 h.).

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Samuel Hahnemann

Samuel Hahnemann

Samuel Hahnemann

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